London, June 16 : Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has confided to close friends that he would walk out of the club if Cristiano Ronaldo is sold without his consent.
The Daily Express reported that Real Madrid plan to outflank Ferguson and chief executive David Gill by lodging a 75million pounds bid directly to the owners, the Glazer family, in America.
But a well-informed source said: "Sir Alex has put his foot down. He is so adamant that if the club dared to cash in on Ronaldo against his wishes, it wouldn't surprise me if he walked out."
Ronaldo has said "yes" to a 300,000 pounds-a-week offer from Real to his agent - a five-year contract worth a staggering 75million pounds in personal terms, putting him top of football's global pay stakes.
Ferguson knows it is pointless United offering Ronaldo a pay rise from the current 125,000 pounds-a-week deal he signed only last summer as they could not match Real Madrid's package.
The United boss has said that he will retire within the next three years, but he would bring forward his decision and could walk away immediately, or stay for one more season until United find his successor, should they sell Ronaldo against his wishes.
The only way Ferguson could justify such a sale is if he felt he could buy two or three world-class performers.